Special to The Dallas Examiner
Half a million Dallas residents live within more than one mile of a grocery store with the majority being in Southern Dallas, according to a March 2017 City of Dallas study.
Along with transportation issues, the costs of healthy food choices aren’t as affordable as unhealthy food choices, such as chips, sodas and other snacks, which are in closer proximity due to nearby convenient stores. This effect leads to high obese rates in those areas especially among children, which was reported by City of Dallas at 49.1 percent, whose academic levels are greatly impacted.
To counter these issues, Dallas County Health and Human Services signed an agreement with Baylor Scott and White Health and Wellness Center to bring a community farm stand to county staff and the community at the DCHHS building, located at 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway, earlier this year.
“The partnership represents an ongoing effort to promote health through nutrition and physical activity, one person, one family, one community at a time,” said Donald Wesson, president of the Baylor Scott and White Health and Wellness Center. “We are excited about our promising partnership with the Health Department, which facilitates spreading of our strategies to promote health across multiple communities to achieve our mission of enhancing health in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and beyond. Our innovative model of health and wellness can be replicated in other cities and other sites.”
The collaboration will be producing ongoing pop-up farm stands twice a month every second and fourth Thursday from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. on the first floor lobby for local citizens who would like to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to feed their families or to serve at food service venues such as child care facilities, hospitals and restaurants.
“Collaborating on this project with Baylor Scott and White Health and Wellness Center is an innovative project that continues DCHHS’s mission in promoting a healthy community and environment to Dallas County and its employees,” said Ganesh Shivaramaiyer, DCHHS interim director. At low cost, the farm stand offers a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are easily accessible to Dallas County employees and the community.”
The community farm stands will be expanded to eight different locations.